By Matt Stefano
They just picked up their second win of the season back on Tuesday night against Espanola, but tonight they will be back in action for a rematch against the very same Espanola Express team at 7:00 p.m. at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
Tonight the Soo Thunderbirds will face the Espsnola Express for the second straight time after defeating them by a score of 8-1 back on Tuesday night in the Soo.
The Thunderbirds enter tonight’s game with a record of 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 shootout loss while the Express come in with a record of 3 wins, 2 losses and 2 shootout losses.
Espanola currently sits in first place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings with 8 points while the Soo comes in sitting in fourth place in the West with 5 points.
BACK ON TUESDAY
On Tuesday night, the Thunderbirds defeated the Express by a score of 8-1 at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Soo also extended its winning streak to two games, along with extending its point streak to three games.
A NIGHT OF FIRSTS
Tuesday night’s game saw a pair of Soo Thunderbirds score their first career junior hockey goals, including Tyson Doucette and Parker Morgan.
Doucette scored his first NOJHL goal on the power play at the 1:44 mark of the third period, which at that time gave the Thunderbirds a 4-1 lead over the Express.
Morgan would then notch his first NOJHL goal at the 9:30 mark of the third period, giving the Soo a 6-1 lead.
Tuesday night’s game also saw a pair of Thunderbird rookie blueliners record their first career NOJHL points (assists), including Mark Hill and Kaden Dundas.
Hill finished off Tuesday night’s game with not one, but two assists, for his first two NOJHL points while Dundas also got on the scoresheet with one assist for his first career NOJHL point.
ON THE MAN ADVANTAGE
Despite only going 1 for 4 on the man advantage back on Tuesday night in the Soo, the Espanola Express still enter tonight’s game with the best power play in the NOJHL’s West Division, operating at 24.4%
Thunderbirds goaltender Scott Young had an outstanding performance on Tuesday night against Espanola, making 30 saves for his first NOJHL victory.
The Calgary, Alberta native also enters tonight’s game with the third lowest goals against average (3.01) in the NOJHL.
We’re only five games into the 2020-2021 season, but Thunderbirds rookie defenceman Connor Toms is off to a great start.
The sixteen year old defenceman enters tonight’s game with 2 goals, 5 assists and 7 points and currently sits in a three-way tie with Griffin Simpson (French River Rapids) and Brendan Boyce (Timmins Rock) for second among NOJHL blueliners in scoring.
Toms also leads all NOJHL rookie blueliners in goals, assists and points.
The Soo Greyounds 2020 3rd round pick also had a career-high three-point game (3 assists) in Tuesday night’s 8-1 victory over the Espanola Express.
(Photo by Bob Davies)